Taranaki recover to deny Waikato

21st Jul 2011, 13:04

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'Naki try-scorer: Jayden Hayward

'Naki try-scorer: Jayden Hayward

Taranaki dug themselves out of trouble to stun Waikato 30-23 and record their first ITM Cup win of the season in Hamilton on Thursday.


Taranaki dug themselves out of trouble to stun Waikato 30-23 and record their first ITM Cup win of the season in Hamilton on Thursday.

Trailing by fourteen points early in the first half, the visitors bounced back in spirited fashion with four tries that ended in a well-earned bonus-point victory.

Converted tries to Waikato prop Toby Smith and scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow had the home side in firm control of the match, but Taranaki slowly crept back into the game to trail 5-14 at half-time after full-back Andre Taylor got his team on the board.

The two teams traded penalties after the break, before another Taylor three-pointer was followed up with a second try to the Amber and Blacks when centre Jayden Hayward went over.

Taylor converted to give his team the lead for the first time in the match, but opposite number Trent Renata - taking over the kicking duties from injured Stephen Donald - nailed a penalty to put the Mooloos back in front.

Renata extended the hosts' lead to five points with 14 minutes left in the contest.

But Taranaki weren't done yet and leapfrogged Waikato once more with their third try of the evening following a Hayward break that ended with replacement Chris Walker over the whitewash for a converted score.

In a thrilling see-saw contest, Renata had a chance to recapture the lead once more with another penalty attempt but the ball drifted past the left-hand upright.

Leading 25-23, Taranaki sealed the deal in the final minute when flank Scott Waldrom pounced and set up Blade Thomson for the bonus-point try. Taylor ended the game with a missed conversion.

The scorers:

For Waikato:
Tries: Smith, Kerr-Barlow
Cons: Donald 2
Pens: Renata 3

For Taranaki:
Tries: Hayward, Taylor, Thomson, Walker
Cons: Taylor 2
Pens: Taylor 2

Waikato: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Save Tokula, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Declan O'Donnell, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Matt Vant Leven, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Nathan White, 2 Aled de Malmanche, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Marcel Cummings-Toone/Ted Tauroa, 17 Ben May, 18 Jack Lam, 19 Chris Middleton, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Sam Christie, 22 Tim Mikkelson, 23 Latu Talakai.

Taranaki: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Isaia Tuifua, 12 Jayden Hayward, 11 Jackson Ormond, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Ben Souness, 5 Craig Clarke (c), 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Laurence Corlett, 1 Carl Carmichael.
Replacements: 16 Timo Tutavaha, 17 Shane Cleaver, 18 Blade Thomson, 19 Chris Walker, 20 Brett Goodin, 21 Jack Cameron, 22 Willie Rickards, 23 Willie Ioane.